秋风起，吃腊味, a saying in Cantonese, which means Autumn winds, eat preserved meat. This is a special seasonal fried rice; Lawei 腊味 means cured meat. When winter comes, Cantonese people will start curing meat. If you live in Guangdong China, you will see lots of people hanging bacon, sausage, chicken, duck, even fish on their balconies. It is also my family’s tradition. This fried rice is packed with umami flavor from the cured meat. It is so delicious that I always crave it during the winter. Let’s get started.
- 2 tbsp of cooking oil
- 2 eggs
- 500 grams of cooked day-old rice
- 70 grams (2.5 oz) of Cantonese cured bacon, sliced thinly
- 70 grams (2.5 oz) of Cantonese sausage, sliced thinly
- 4 pieces of rehydrated dried shitake mushroom, sliced thinly
- 2-3 tbsp of the mushroom soaking liquid
- 120 grams (4.2 oz) of Chinese broccoli, can be replaced by broccolini, asparagus, peas…
- 2 scallions, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2.5 tbsp of soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp of sugar
Cantonese Sausage, also known as lap chang (腊肠). They look like the skinny version of pepperonis, but the taste is quite different – slightly sweet and savory. Also, you cannot eat Cantonese sausage raw. It has to be cooked for safety purposes. If you can’t find this ingredient, you can use another kind of sausage or click here to learn how to make your own.
Cantonese cured pork belly, aka Lap yuk(腊肉). It usually comes with the skin. We have to remove it because it is very tough. If you can’t find this ingredient, you can use bacon as a replacement but pick the maple syrup or honey flavor because Cantonese cured meat is always slightly sweet.
Slice the Cantonese Sausage and Cantonese bacon thinly. Crack 2 eggs, whisk them really well until you don’t see any obvious egg white. Separate the leaf and the stem of Chinese broccoli (gai lan 芥蓝). Dice the stem part into thin rounds. Roughly cut the leaves. You can also use asparagus, green beans or broccolini as a replacement.
Soaked 4 pieces of dried shitake mushroom 2 hours in advance. Slice the mushrooms thinly and save the soaking liquid. If you don’t have dried shitake mushrooms, you can use fresh ones or click here to learn how to dehydrate your own.
Turn the heat to medium-low. Don’t need to add oil. Just directly toss in the Cantonese sausage, cured pork belly, and shitake mushrooms. These 3 ingredients need to be sautéed for a few minutes to activate the aroma. In a couple of minutes, the sausage and cured pork belly should be translucent. Don’t overcook them because they do burn quickly as they have pretty high sugar content. Turn the heat to high. Push everything to the side. Drizzled in about 2 tbsp of oil. Depending on how fatty your cured meat is, you may need more or less oil here. Pour in the egg. Quickly stir and break it up into small little pieces. Add the gai lan stem, garlic, and 2-3 tbsp of the mushroom soaking liquid. Not only does the steam helps to cook the vegetables faster, but it also protects the egg, cured pork belly, and sausage so they don’t dry out. Stir until most of the water is evaporated. Push everything to the side and add the day old cooked rice. Keep the heat on high and stir this for a couple of minutes.
When you see that some of the rice grains are dancing and jumping in the wok, add 2.5 tbsp of soy sauce and 1/2 tsp of sugar. Throw in the leafy part of the gai lan. Keep mixing until all the greens are welted. Toss in some diced scallions. You should always give it a taste before serving so you can adjust the flavor because different brands of sausage and cured pork belly have different amounts of sodium. I made this many times so I know it is going to be perfect.
Look at that, the rice came out so fluffy. All the grains are separated individually. The cured meat provides lots of umami flavor and made this fried rice authentic and unique. The slight tartness from the gai lan balances the savoriness of the cured meat perfectly. I hope you give this a try soon.